HIGHLIGHTS, WINNERS & VIDEOS: April 2019 ANIMATION FEEDBACK Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:

BEST ANIMATION FILM: ONE SMALL STEP

BEST MUSIC: ONE LAST TIME

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterLOVE ON THE BALCONY, 4min., USA, Animation/Romance

festival posterIN A HEARTBEAT, 4min., USA, Animation/LGBT

festival posterONE SMALL STEP, 8min., USA, Animation

festival posterBROKEN DREAMS, 3min., UK, Animation

festival posterONE LAST TIME, 5min., Spain, Animation

festival posterDON’T THINK OF A PINK ELEPHANT, 7min., UK, Animation

The theme of the April 2019 ANIMATION & DANCE Feedback Film Festival in Toronto was “TIMING”.

Each film was about something or someone being at the exact right time for something.

The 7th event of the Los Angeles festivals in 2019.

23 more festivals to go in Toronto this year.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo

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Director BIO: Suraya Raja (DON’T THINK OF A PINK ELEPHANT)

Director Biography – Suraya Raja

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Suraya Raja is an animator and director, and a graduate of the National Film and Television School, where she completed an MA in Animation Direction. Her films tell stories of the absurdity of human behaviour, the internal and the tragicomic, influenced by her previous work in psychology and social issues, and also by her day-to-day observations of human behaviour.

 

http://www.surayaraja.com

 

Director Statement

I get a lot of inspiration from my observation of people, and am really interested in how we think and behave. I have an interest in stories, which inhabit the internal, of mental health, perception and the comedy of human behaviour and interaction. Often my ideas come from social interactions in the mundanity of every-day life, and sometimes from my background of working in homelessness, psychology, substance use and offending.

I am drawn to creating characters that come across as weird or unpleasant, and shifting the perspective as we start to recognise ourselves in them. I am fascinated by the way in which we all think, and how we are really not all that different from one another. I wanted to make a film about a character’s experience of a mental health issue, without it being explicitly about a mental health issue, a story that people could engage with as a story. It couldn’t be educational or preachy, and needed to have a humorous edge, without being condescending.

I chose to make a story of a girl who experiences puro OCD, a form of OCD that is less known about. Intrusive thoughts, generally unspoken of, are something we all experience. My intention was to present these thoughts, often bizarre, taboo and funny, in a way that we can relate to, and to then reveal the more serious and distressing nature of the problem for Layla. I also wanted to really get across the internal thoughts, as they might be experienced, through the use of mixed techniques, contrasting physical textures, and sound.

Layla learns that facing your fears is a way to overcome them. Through avoidance techniques, Layla has learnt to ‘get by’ in day-to-day life, until suddenly she is confronted with her darkest fears. Ultimately Layla makes the decision to face these fears to save Friskies, the cat she loves, and in doing so realises she can trust herself. After the turmoil she experiences in the shed, a terrifying battle with her own thoughts, she is surprised to find herself still holding onto an object that she would have struggled to even look at before. As she looks at the object she experiences a sensation. She is not ‘cured’, but better able to deal with the issue she has.

Short Film: LOVE ON THE BALCONY, 4min., USA, Animation/Romance

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An angry crotchety old man does what he can to ruin his oppressively lovey dovey neighbors.

  • Film Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Romatic Comedy, Romance, Animation, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 5, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Film Color:
    Color

Short Film: IN A HEARTBEAT, 4min., USA, Animation/LGBT

Iahb officialposter smallerA closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.

  • Film Type:
    Animation, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Romantic Comedy, Romance, Animation, LGBTQ
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 5, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Film Color:
    Color

Director Biography – Bobby Pontillas, Andrew Chesworth (ONE SMALL STEP)

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Bobby Pontillas went to see Disney’s animated film Tarzan in 1999 and was blown away by the groundbreaking visuals. Since then, Bobby has been determined to make an impact in the animation industry, and is committed to share his unlimited energy and infectiously positive perspective to every project. Bobby brings a wealth of artistic experience, having worked on a slew of productions at Blue Sky and Disney, he inspires the crew to expand their artistic horizons on a daily basis. Bobby hopes to steward an era of change to the visual styles of modern cinema.

Andrew Chesworth grew up passionate about drawing, reading, music, and movies. Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit made a definitive impression on Andrew for its quintessential movie magic. Chesworth’s love for both the liberal arts and the visual arts defined his decision to pursue a career in animation. His diverse experiences directing short films and commercials in CG, 2D, and stopmotion, as well as many years animating for Disney, define his broad artistic taste. Chesworth believes that stories worth telling can inspire people of any culture or background.

Director Statement

“One Small Step is a thank you to my mother, Corazon Pontillas, who supported me in my pursuit of being an artist. All of us here at Taiko have worked hard to chase a dream, but none of that would’ve been possible without the support of our family and friends. My mother came to the United States from the Philippines to make her dreams happen, and that’s inspired me more than she knows to persist after mine, even if I wasn’t always the most grateful son. It was the honor of my life to get to work with the Taiko crew and tell our stories. I consider them both friends and family that supported me to live this dream.” -Bobby Pontillas

“One Small Step is our love letter to everyone who chased that impossible dream, and the family that supported them through it. Our story follows the relationship between Luna, a young Chinese American girl who aspires to be an astronaut, and her hardworking immigrant father. We wanted to reflect on the real and personal costs of Luna’s ambitions. Her relationships to her goals and her father change as life presents new realities. Dreams that seed in our hearts when we are young take on new meaning with experience and age. That core sentiment has defined my deep connection to this film. I’m so thankful to have been on this journey with such a sincere group of artists and dreamers. Luna’s story is filled with the rich life experiences of the talented, diverse team here at Taiko Studios. We are thrilled to share it with the world!” – Andrew Chesworth

Short Film: ONE SMALL STEP, 8min., USA, Animation

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What does it take to achieve your dreams? An ambitious young girl endeavors to realize her aspiration of becoming an astronaut with the support of her humble father.

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